Summary of Bill Number 170560: Resident Notification
On May 25, City Council introduced legislation that would require property owners to give their residents six months’ notice before making a “significant lease change” (which is defined in the bill) if the change involves a planned “significant building renovation” (also defined in the bill) or because of a change in the general use of the property. The bill amends the condominium unfair conversion practices provisions of the Philadelphia Code, Chapter 9-1200.
- The bill pertains to buildings with three or more units.
- According to the bill’s definition of “Significant Building Renovation”, if the work impacts at least 25% of the units in a property, than the entire building would have to be notified about a renovation.
- Notification of a significant lease change is required if:
- Renovations are being performed by the existing owner or a subsequent owner
- The general use of the property is being altered (i.e. private rentals to rentals based on master lease or contracts with an institution)
- Notification must include contact information for tenant advocacy organizations provided by the Commission on the City’s website.
- A resident may not be required to vacate the premises prior to the expiration of the six-month notice period, except for:
- Nonpayment of rent
- Breach of covenant in the existing lease
- Resident causes the property to be in violation of the Philadelphia Code
- If a resident’s lease would ordinarily be terminated during notice period, the lease contract can be extended until the end of the notice period.
- A resident can terminate his/her lease with:
- A 90 days’ notice in the case of a condominium conversion
- A 60 days’ notice in the case of a significant lease change
- New residents that want to sign a lease after the notice is sent but before the significant lease change takes effect have to be notified in writing before signing the lease.
- Violators can be subject to a fine no less than $100 and not more than $2000 together with costs of prosecution.